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Tucson

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Arizona Tucson

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Introduction

Tucson is a city in southern Arizona. It lies about 120 miles (190 kilometres) to the southeast of the state's capital, Phoenix, and 60 miles (100 kilometres) from the Mexican border. It is the second largest city in the state, with around 550,000 inhabitants.

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Sights and Activities

Giant Saguaro cactus, Saguaro National Park

Giant Saguaro cactus, Saguaro National Park

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The Saguaro National Park was created to preserve the Giant Saguaro cacti, which only grow in the Sonoran Desert. The park consists of two districts: the Tucson Mountain District, west of Tucson, and the Rincon Mountain District, east of Tucson. There are over 165 miles (over 250 kilometres) of hiking trails throughout the park.

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Events and Festivals

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, or Celebration of the Cowboys, was established in 1925. The festival coincides with the Tucson Rodeo, and occurs in mid-February.

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Weather

Tucson has hot summers and temperate winters. Tucson has a desert climate, which is not based on the amount of percipitation alone, but is also due to its high evapotranspiration. Summers are characterized by low humidity, clear skies, and daytime temperatures that exceed 100 °F. The average overnight temperature ranges between 66 °F and 85 °F. In Winter the average daytime temperature is 64 °F, with nighttime temperature, dropping below 40 °F. The least amounts of percipitation falls in april, may and june, while july and august has the most.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max17.7 °C19.9 °C22.7 °C27.3 °C32.2 °C37.6 °C37.4 °C36 °C34.1 °C29.1 °C22.6 °C17.9 °C
Avg Min3.7 °C5 °C7 °C10.2 °C14.4 °C19.9 °C23.1 °C22.3 °C19.7 °C13.7 °C7.6 °C4.3 °C
Rainfall22.1 mm17.8 mm18.3 mm7.6 mm4.6 mm5.1 mm60.2 mm55.6 mm42.4 mm26.9 mm17 mm27.2 mm
Rain Days3.42.82.91.41.11.27.47.54.12.52.73.7

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Getting There

By Plane

Tucson International Airport (TUS) offers flights to/from Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston, San Francisco and Phoenix.

By Train

Two trains operated by Amtrak stop in Tucson:

By Car

Tucson is located along the I-10 between Phoenix and New Mexico. Between Tucson and Phoenix the I-8 branches of towards California. The I-19 goes southwards towards the border with Mexico.

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hotel Tucson City Center475 North Granada Avenue TucsonHOTEL66
Best Western InnSuites Tucson Foothills6201 North Oracle Road TucsonHotel-
Quality Inn Flamingo1300 North Stone AveHotel-
Americas Best Value Inn-Sierra Vista100 Fab AvenueHotel-
Windemere Hotel Tucson1025 E. Benson HighwayHOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 32.227832
  • Longitude: -110.943784

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This is version 26. Last edited at 9:48 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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